New MACPAC Report Released – Say Ahhh! A Children’s Health Policy Blog

What an exciting week for data lovers! First the CBO
  was released and yesterday MACPAC put out their March report. As usual, it’s chock full of goodies!

This edition of the report has 4 chapters (not to mention
the always appreciated MACStats!).

The first chapter focuses on the more than 9 million
individuals under age 65 who qualify for Medicaid on the basis of having a
disability. Medicaid plays a vital role for people with disabilities a role
that has only expanded in recent years – as the report points out, between 1975
and 2008, enrollees with disabilities were the fastest growing eligibility
group in Medicaid and accounted for half of program spending growth. This
chapter includes eligibility and population characteristics, services and
spending, as well as highlighting opportunities for improving quality.

The second chapter examines access to care for the more
than 40 million children enrolled in Medicaid and CHIP compared to similarly
situated uninsured children and those with ESI. Similar to other analyses, they find that children enrolled in Medicaid/CHIP are more likely to have a
usual source of care, have had a well-child or specialist visit in the past
year, and are less likely to have delayed medical care when compared to
uninsured children. In comparison to kids with ESI, the picture is a bit more
complex, but overall, their access and use of care is similar. We’ll get more
into this in a future blog.

Chapter 3 reviews how states finance Medicaid and takes a
closer look at health care related taxes and supplemental payments to
providers. This chapter also provides an update on federal CHIP financing,
including a brief discussion of how allotments are calculated and how the contingency
fund operates. Spoiler alert – the FY 2012 CHIP allotments are in the MACStats
chapter on page 139!

The final chapter looks at program integrity in Medicaid,
describing state and federal initiatives to safeguard against fraud and abuse.
It points out that the potential for duplication of efforts exists because of
the number of statutory provisions, administration initiatives, and agencies
(both state and federal) focused on program integrity and makes some
recommendations on how to get the most out of such efforts.

Enjoy your weekend reading – I will.

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